Heavily armed black militia groups are expected to return to the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial in Georgia Tuesday — despite their presence sparking last-minute calls for a mistrial just before the case goes to the jury.
Black Lives Matter 757 called for protesters to return on Tuesday to the Glynn County Courthouse, where prosecutors started addressing the court for the last time before jurors start their deliberations on the three white men charged with Arbery’s murder.
The BLM group had been central to protests Monday that saw dozens of people — many fully masked and carrying assault rifles — rallying under the banners of other groups including the New Black Panther Party and the New Black Liberation Militia.
“Revolution has come — time to pick up the gun,” the group chanted, according to videos by Scootercaster, with many in the group giving fist salutes as they also chanted, “Black power will keep us safe.”
They also wheeled a black coffin with a pretend body inside.
“Y’all are in serious trouble because the wrath of karma is coming on America,” said a man with the name badge Cmdr N. Muhammad who called himself the supreme commander of the New Black Liberation Militia.
“We believe in armed self-defense. And that’s the only way we will stop all of the bleeding and killing and dying of us,” warned the man, who also called himself the national prime minister of the New Black Panther.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the group a “virulently racist and antisemitic organization.”
Another leader, Mikhail Muhammad, also warned that they “believe for an eye for an eye” for the three men on trial, calling for “a squad of undercover hitmen to go after these goddamn killers,” the videos show.
The groups’ presence was picked up inside the court, with Kevin Gough, an attorney for one of the defendants, calling for a mistrial, suggesting they were there to intimidate jurors.
“This is no longer a figurative mob. This is a literal mob,” Gough told Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley.
But the judge denied his request for a mistrial, saying, “Individuals have a right to be outside the courthouse.”
Prosecutors on Tuesday started their final comments in the trial of the three white men charged with killing Arbery, 25, as he ran on Feb. 23, 2020.
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael had grabbed guns and pursued Arbery in a pickup truck, claiming they thought he’d broken into homes.
A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and recorded the video of Travis McMichael opening fire as Arbery threw punches and grabbed for McMichael’s shotgun.
No one was charged in the killing until Bryan’s video leaked and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. All three men are charged with murder and other offenses.
“They made the decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a black man running down the street,” prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the jury in her initial closing arguments Monday.
Defense attorneys used their closing arguments Monday to insist that the McMichaels were attempting a legal citizen’s arrest when they set off after Arbery, seeking to detain and question him as a suspected burglar after he was seen running from a nearby home under construction.
Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Arbery had committed crimes in the defendants’ neighborhood.
With Post wires
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